Open water swimming returns to Canary Wharf, London

Love Open Water’s Canary Wharf venue gives swimmers the chance to dip, swim and train in the clean and clear waters of Middle Dock.

Open water swimming is back at Middle Dock Canary Wharf, London, just in time for the summer. Love Open Water offers safe open water swimming in the centre of the new financial district, working in partnership with Canal & River Trust, Canary Wharf Group and NOWCA. Last year, Canary Wharf hosted over 7,000 swims, and swimmers have been keen for the venue to reopen in time for the summer.

Love Open Water’s Canary Wharf venue gives swimmers the chance to dip, swim and train in the clean and clear waters of Middle Dock, using NOWCA’s renowned safety system to manage swimmers both in and out of the water. 

“Our aim is to help make open water more accessible, to more people, and most importantly more safely. We support over 40 venues nationwide with our safety systems and we have worked with Love Open Water for a decade now,” said Rick Kiddle, Founder and CEO of NOWCA. 

“Our aim is to help create more access to water that would otherwise be restricted from swimming, so we are really excited to be part of this fantastic venue at Canary Wharf as it provides more swimming possibilities in the East London area.”

How to access the water at Canary Wharf

Access the water at Mackenzie Walk, where a pontoon and ladder has been installed. There’s also a changing cabin and public toilets available for swimmers. There is a choice of swimming courses between 200m and 400m, depending on weather conditions.

How clean is the water?

Every session at Love Open Water is lifeguarded and the water quality is tested regularly by independent experts and sent to a lab for certification. Water quality testing shows consistently excellent results for Middle Dock and it has been amongst the cleanest water tested historically for Love Open Water venues. Regular testing is undertaken regularly to ensure the water complies with bathing standards

Who can swim at Canary Wharf?

Love Open Water welcomes competent open water swimmers from as young as 10 years old. They will offer a range of coaching to support swimmers including introductory courses focused on safety and building confidence in open water. More experienced swimmers will work with coaches to develop technique, improve performance or train for an event such as triathlons.

How to book your swim

Love Open Water’s swim sessions will be available throughout the week and you can check times on the ACTiO app. Swims cost £8.50. You also must be a NOWCA member to swim at Love Open Water venues. Membership costs £15 a year, which includes access to over 40 venues across the UK, plus personal insurance cover and various swim brand discounts.

To join simply go to the free ACTiO app, create a profile, choose Love Open Water Canary Wharf as your band collection, pay the annual membership fee, and then start booking your swims. Safety wristbands can be collected when you arrive for your first pre-booked swim. Read the venue guide to help you prepare for your swim.

Read more about Love Open Water venues or join their Facebook group for venue and session updates and to connect with other swimmers.

Photos: (main) Sean Pollock & Canary Wharf Group; Love Open Water

Stay up to date with The Dip, our free weekly outdoor swimming newsletter.

Jo is the Gear Editor for Outdoor Swimmer and also writes news and features for the website. A keen open water swimmer and long-distance walker, she loves seeking out lakes and lidos close to her home in the Mendip Hills, Somerset. She is the author of The Slow Traveller, editor and founder of independent magazine, Ernest, and has previously tested outdoor clothing and kit for BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC Focus and Ernest Journal.